The Appeal Court has sentenced a man accused of defaming the monarchy on Facebook to six years’ imprisonment. On 27 April 2017, the Appeal Court confirmed the verdict of the Court of First Instance in the lèse majesté case of Piya J., a 47 year-old programmer. In January 2016 the lower court sentenced him to nine years’ imprisonment with the sentence reduced by one third.
On a Saturday night in mid-September 2013 I was sat at table in a deserted restaurant in an exclusive beachside resort in Phuket. My companions were graduate students and researchers from Chulalongkorn University and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto University.
Chiang Rai Military Court has scheduled the first examination of witnesses in a case against an ophthalmologist indicted for defaming then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn in June. On 11 April 2017, the Military Court of northern Chiang Rai Province held a preliminary hearing for Sarawut (surname withheld due to privacy reasons), 33, an ophthalmologist accused of offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a Thai government ban, imposed yesterday, on any online contact or interaction with three prominent critics of the regime – a foreign journalist and two academics – and urges all Facebook users beyond the government’s reach to share content from the Facebook accounts of these three critics. The ban’s three targets are Andrew MacGregor Marshall, a well-known Scottish journalist who used to be based in Bangkok, and Thai academics Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Pavin Chachavalpongpun.
The posterchild of the democracy movement in Thailand, detained for lèse majesté, has won the prestigious Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. The selection committee of the South Korean May 18 Memorial Foundation announced that Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, a law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), is the winner of the 2017 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.
Responding to a government warning that anyone who follows, contacts, or shares posts online with three prominent critics - historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul, journalist and author Andrew MacGregor Marshall, and former diplomat Pavin Chachavalpongpun - will be prosecuted under the Computer Crimes Act, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Josef Benedict said:
A Buddhist foundation has accused Buddha Isara, an ultra-royalist monk and a key leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), of royal defamation over a ritual to bless Buddha amulets. On 10 April 2017, Wichai Prasertsutsiri, coordinator of the Centre for the Promotion of Buddhism Foundation, filed a complaint under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, against Buddha Isara at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok.
The Appeal Court has once again refused to release an activist detained for sharing BBC Thai’s most popular story, which is now censored in Thailand. On 5 April 2017, Appeal Court Region 4 confirmed the ruling of the Court of First Instance not to release Jatuphat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, a law student and key member of the New Democracy Movement (NDM). The ruling was read after Jatuphat’s lawyer submitted a request to appeal the earlier second ruling not to release the activist.
“‘Pai’ You Know Me a Little Go” is an introduction to Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, also known as ‘Pai Daodin'. He is behind the quote, “If we let these things happen in society, they will happen to you someday". Pai is a political activist who has been jailed for lèse majesté for over 60 days, with the courts repeatedly denying his bail. Who is Pai Daodin? What has he done? This video clip will answer these questions.
BBC Thai has revealed that its controversial biography of King Vajiralongkorn broke records as the site’s most popular story, accumulating millions of views despite the article eventually being censored in Thailand. The biography of Thailand’s new King, published in December last year, has received over 3 million views and counting, revealed Iain Haddow, Executive Editor of BBC Asia, at a public talk on ‘Media Freedom in an Increasingly Authoritarian World’ on 29 March 2017. The biography has had 10 times as many views as the site’s next top performing story.